Episode 16

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Published on:

26th Oct 2023

Why do you care about the opinion of others?

Worrying about the opinion of others can be a massive problem. It can take a lot of energy and can be draining.

We are social species and it does matter how we are in our trusted group BUT the incessant worrying can be a maladaptive response that can end putting more distance between us and others if not understood and dealt with properly.

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and philosopher said, "we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own"

I talk about how shame can be an underlying feeling that may be connected to this.

Can we move from Pariah to an Outlier? How do we tap into that authentic voice within to guide us?

4 Main Insights.

  1. How often do you think spending about other people? We spend most of out time thinking about ourselves.
  2. Instinctual responses are often out of alignment with how we are living today. Expressing yourself to others is liberating.
  3. Avoid being part of the problem- Avoid judging; self, others. Change your perception of judgement being everywhere.
  4. What is your body response? If you connect with the sensations that arise, you notice... allow to be without trying to change it. Simply notice and it will shift.

Get in touch with Sal

If this episode has caught your attention and you wish to learn more, then please contact me. I offer a free 20 min call where we can discuss a challenge your facing and how I may be able to help you.

Transcript
Sal Jefferies:

Welcome to Mindset, Mood and Movement.

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A systemic approach to human

behaviour, performance and wellbeing.

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How psychological, emotional and

physical health are all connected.

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In this episode I'll be sharing my

knowledge and experience to help you

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overcome a challenge that you might

be facing in life, health or work.

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hello and welcome.

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Are you worried what

other people think of you?

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Why do we give so much energy

to the opinion of others?

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Now this is an innately human

pattern and it comes up for, for

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many of us in many different guises.

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And in this episode, I'm going to

talk about it when it's kind of

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maladaptive, a problem and stopping you.

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It's something I come across numerous

times in my coaching practice

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and it's normally one of the.

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belief patterns, behavioral patterns that

causes a huge block in people's lives.

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But it's important.

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Now, if this goes back a long way,

some of you may know Marcus Aurelius,

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the, uh, the famous Roman emperor and

philosopher who wrote, uh, meditations.

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So this is going back a

couple of thousand years.

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And he said, we all love ourselves more

than other people, but care about their

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opinions more than our own, whether

they're friends, strangers or enemies.

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So this is a innately human

patterns been going on a long time.

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Which makes us hopefully think a bit

deeper like, well, it serves something

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much more deep, powerful and necessary.

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So I'm going to share a story

about a client I've worked with.

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Obviously it's, um, I'm going to alias

the client, so for confidentiality.

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But I want to explain this because if

you are struggling and if you overly

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think and worry what other people

think of you, this could hold you back.

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Now I work with, we'll call him Joe.

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Joe was a super high level professional,

uh, highly intelligent, had a

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family, uh, been working in, uh,

the, the sector of finance for a

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long time and was doing really well.

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So, so one would say from the

outside, you know, money is

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coming in success in the corporate

space, but she was disillusioned.

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She was going to work and just finding an

emptiness and joking to my practice to,

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to talk through about change, about how

to move from this, you know, unhappy life.

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So really that's what it was.

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Yes, she had the money.

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Yes, she had the what seemed

like external validation and

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success, but she wasn't happy.

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She wasn't fulfilled.

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And that's no way to live.

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So we thankfully she came to me

and we were working through this.

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So the first thing that I got really

interested in was, you know, ask

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the question, what's at stake?

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Why does this opinion of others matter?

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Why can't you leave this job that

you're kind of, you're feeling

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like you can't for some reason.

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She wanted to go into creating her

own business with a very creative

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edge and why was this not happening?

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So we did a lot of work and so

much was coming out and this

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is, this is a general theme now.

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This is so much about grouping.

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Connection, sharing.

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We human beings are groupers.

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Yeah, we're like selves

that come together.

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Everyone, even those of us

who like to be different.

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We like to be with our mates

who are also different.

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You know, whether you're a

skateboarder, a tech person,

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entrepreneur, skier, doesn't matter.

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You'll always find someone like you,

even if you're the different group.

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We look at cities, you know, people come

together as cities and groups of people.

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We are magnetized by the

people and it matters.

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And this goes back a long way,

and this is what I brought to

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the, to the work we did with Joe.

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If we go back to his early roots, humans

are incredibly good at functioning

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together with social species.

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We're not that powerful as an animal

compared to, say, lions and bears

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and, you know, those big powerful

animals, but we're very clever.

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We've always had high level

understanding of how to work

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as, as, as a team, as a pack.

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And, and over those early formations

of our ancestors, we understood

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that working together was paramount.

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And of course, the opposite goes true.

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If we are alone, if we are

out of the group, that is

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potentially a fatal situation.

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Now, over the years, we've come

to know this experience and this

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feeling, this emotional feeling

in us, and it's called shame.

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It's when we are cast out.

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Or in our culture, we

often call it an outcast.

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We're out of the group.

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Now this would have made a lot of

sense going back a long way and let's

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say the hunter gatherer, , times , and

how that might've been in today's

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world with tech, properties, cars, the

culture we live in, it's not quite as.

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is damaging to not be part of the group.

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And yet those early

formations still apply.

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We are still wanting

to be part of a group.

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And to be out of our group

is, tantamount to death.

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So its roots are deep.

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They're deep wired in our neurology,

they're deep wired in our ancestry.

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So when we come to the present day

question like, Oh, why do I care

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so much what my other half thinks?

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Or what my mum and dad think?

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Or what someone on LinkedIn

or Instagram thinks?

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It's not so much the surface impact.

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It's the deep impact.

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It's this deeply innate trigger.

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I suppose we could say that this

could be very, very dangerous for us.

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Now the issue here is.

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It's maladaptive.

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That's a great response back in

the day, if you're, I don't know,

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in the drive having to survive.

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In today's world, you can get

your food delivered to the house.

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You don't need to worry

about that sort of thing.

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Most of us, hopefully, live in a

fairly safe and structured property

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and, we don't have to worry about,

animals around us hurting us.

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But the response remains and

now it's become very abstract.

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So when we think of Joe who was struggling

to find the depth and happiness in life

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and move on from her career and create

something powerful and wonderful and be

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fulfilled in a, in the entrepreneur world.

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The belief block was there.

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It was holding her back.

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So we did a lot of work around the

explanation as I'm doing now, but the

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feeling, what does it feel like when

you are, , pushing on the edge when you

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believe that people won't accept you?

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Uh, and there's a term

for this, which is pariah.

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Tough word, but that's, that's a

term that's often used in English.

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You're a pariah.

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You are out there.

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You're not part of the group.

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And what I find fascinating is this

maladaptive process and worrying what

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other people think of us can actually

transition from pariah to outlier.

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Now an outlier is an interesting one.

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It's a more common term.

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You may be aware of it.

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Outlier links us to pioneer.

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leader, forward thinker,

courageous person.

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And it's interesting, isn't it?

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That we got to have this internal

emotional psychological shift from

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the fear and belief of being a

pariah to shift into an outlier.

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And I would say an outlier in

the space I work with helping

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people make their own decisions.

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It's the place to be.

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So the question is, how do we tap into

that authentic voice that's within

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that authentic voice that's within you

that says, I want to do this, but I'm

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worried about other people's think.

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And it comes from a very

important state of making peace.

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with several things.

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Making peace with the fact that

you can't make everyone happy.

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And that's a fool's errand.

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Sometimes we'll do things, even if

we don't mean to, which might upset

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someone, even if we don't mean to.

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So we get very caught up in this

attachment to others, and there

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lies an opportunity to shift.

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So when we start to check in with some

important learnings here, and I'm going

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to share four that I see was really

helpful, and I shared this with Joe.

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So the insight number one, and I learned

this years ago, I had a coach that said

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to me about this and they said how often

do you spend thinking about other people?

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And I'm used on the question for a

while and I thought, not that long.

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I spend more time thinking about

myself, my own internal experience.

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And she was like, yeah, exactly right.

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We all spend most of our thinking and

feeling time connected with us, the I.

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We're not bothered about

other people that much.

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We just don't care.

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We care about ourselves.

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So here's the freedom in that.

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If people don't really care that

much about what we're doing, they're

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not that bothered, then we can be

liberated from the fear of that.

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So that's the first understanding.

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Second, understand that these

are instinctual responses, and an

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instinctual response to avoid shame

of being cast out is utterly natural.

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but quite likely completely out of

whack with where you're at today, the

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circumstance you find yourself in.

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So for Joe, it was saying to a

partner, look, I'm so disillusioned.

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I've got to do something well in my life.

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This is going to damage everything if I

keep pretending to be okay with this job.

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And by talking it through and saying,

look, you know, I have to do this.

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I know you may not, you're nervous,

you're worried, but I have to do this.

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But then suddenly that, that.

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Elegance of communication and

authenticity meant that the people that

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were doubting and were uncomfortable

still, still kind of said, well,

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okay, look, okay, we get it.

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I'll support you.

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So expressing, understanding and

knowing that instinctual response,

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but expressing in the real world

is the second big thing to shift.

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Thirdly, and this really worked with, with

Joe, is avoid being part of the problem.

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Stop judging yourself.

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Stop judging others as much as you can.

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Avoid the process of judgment.

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And the reason for this,

it's a perceptual thing.

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It's a psychological perceptual shift.

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What we pay attention to is what we see.

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So if we are conscious or unconscious

and judging how we are and judging

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what's going on, judgment is what we see.

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The more we can attend to the internal

perception about, let's just let the

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judgments go, just let them pass, let them

fade, is that they fade in our perceptual

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filters of what's going on around us.

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And that is so powerful.

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It's not easy.

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It takes daily practice because

the culture of immersing is

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one of opinions and judgments.

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For anyone who's self aware,

it's Utterly possible.

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And it's again, one of

the freedom pieces here.

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And finally to go into a really first

position, experience your body's response.

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So if you're having a fear or

worry what someone's thinking

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of you, what does your body do?

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What are the sensations?

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First and foremost, fear is natural.

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And if it's habitual for you, it's going

to come up every time you dare speak

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up or do something different, be the

leader you want to be, whatever that is.

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Notice the fear, sensation, notice

where it is in your body, and

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do nothing apart from observe.

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For me, it's very much centered in

my abdomen, in my, in sort of core

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center, that's where I feel it.

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For others I've worked with, I

remember Jo, it was very, in her

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shoulders, and there was a lot

of activity and tension there.

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And simply by allowing it to be, aware

of the breath, these Sensory signals

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that affect the goings back to the

brain start to change the internal

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environment of your body, brain, and

then that changes your, your experience.

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And then we realized that while

fear is maybe natural, habitual,

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it doesn't need to be absolute.

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And you can be careful

with what you're doing.

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We're not talking about being

reckless, but you can move

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forwards and make choices.

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And I would say that is

great self leadership.

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So if you want to be in a place of

leadership in your work, in your

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business, that is a very powerful way.

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So I trust all of that has been useful.

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The opinion of others, it's always

going to be there as a thought.

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It has its natural and a

valid reason to be there.

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But in today's world, move from

pariah to outlier in your mind.

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Set yourself free from

this pattern because...

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Generally, if you weren't afraid to do

stuff, there'd be so many things available

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and fear is natural, but fear does not

want to be absolute and restrictive.

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So I trust that is a, a little whirlwind

journey that might give you some insights,

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give you some tools to help you become.

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A little freer when that pattern of

worrying what other people think of you

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sneaks up in your mind, you can check

it and go, Ah, I know what this is.

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I know why this is, and I know

some strategies to deal with it.

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Thank you so much for listening.

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If you enjoyed the

episode, please subscribe.

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And if a friend would benefit from hearing

this, do send it on to them as well.

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If you would like to get in touch

yourself, then you can go to my website.

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Which is Sal Jeffries dot com,

spelt S A L J E F F E R I E S.

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Sal Jeffries dot com.

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Hit the get in touch link and there

you can send me a direct message.

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If you'd like to go one step further

and learn whether coaching can help

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you overcome a challenge or a block

in your life, then do reach out and

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I offer a call where we can discuss

how this may be able to help you.

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Until the next time, take care.

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About the Podcast

Mindset, Mood & Movement
Human performance podcast for life and business
Feeling stuck, stressed and exhausted is bad for you, your health and your business. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Sal Jefferies is a coach who helps founders overcome anxiety, build confidence and become healthy. This podcast will help you feel calm, confident and strong in life and business.

Sal has a unique coaching philosophy which integrates psychology, emotional regulation and embodied action. This podcast aims to share knowledge, skill and strategies from these 3 interwoven areas - mindset, mood & movement.

Each fortnight, Sal will be in conversation with a guest from a specialist field of human performance and behaviour. The week in between will be Sal's own shorter episode where he's goes deep into various topics - all created to give you the tools to become calm, confident & strong.


About your host

Profile picture for Sal Jefferies

Sal Jefferies

I believe in helping people become free - free of anxiety; to be authentic; to not worry of what others think of you. Free to create, to love and free to be calm, confident and strong.

I understand what it’s like to find life difficult, to deal with challenges and to feel lost; that’s why I over the last 15 years I have immersed myself in yoga, psychology and human behaviour. I have been on a journey of deep change and growth and I know at the core of most life choices is the desire for freedom and peace. I work with people who think deeply and feel deeply and looking to change, evolve and grow.

I don’t take myself too seriously and I bring a light and positive energy to my work. When I’m not coaching, I love reading and learning about anything to do with the human experience. I am also super active and movement is a big part of my life - running, swimming, strength training, doing yoga or enjoying being out with my dogs.